The latest question creating separation in the business industry surrounds whether or not entrepreneurs are a unique class, born with a drive and demand to succeed that the rest of humanity lacks. While many subscribe to this theory, others believe that entrepreneurship can be created through mentoring, experience, and education.
Multiple studies over the last decade have hinted at the existence of an entrepreneur gene, or at a minimum that people with distinct personality traits and genetic tendencies are more inclined to be successful entrepreneurs than others. Some studies suggest that genes influence whether a person will start a business and can even determine an individual’s earning potential. It’s a divisive thought, particularly for Americans raised with the notion that education and drive can enable success in any area they choose.
Exploring a Genetic Predisposition to Entrepreneurship
The dilemma surrounds whether entrepreneurs pursue a path because of a genetic predisposition or educational experiences. Most of us have met many successful entrepreneurs in our careers and would agree that they include diverse personality types and individuals, including a mix of extroverts and introverts, inherent risk-takers, and those with a higher, more circumspect outlook. There isn’t a unique representation of an entrepreneur, just as there isn’t one particular sort of business opportunity. However, the talents of many entrepreneurs converge in the following abilities:
- Exhibit personal strengths in entrepreneurial endeavors
- Align their skills and passions with potential opportunities
- Develop the skills and attributes they need to maximize those opportunities
In short, a career based on entrepreneurial attributes and skills can be learned and is something that should be a component of the educational experience of all young people. That means that entrepreneurs can be created and also may be born with traits that predispose them to exceed. As mentors, we can all perform a role in supporting the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs.